Five Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) students and their families recently participated in the second annual STAR (SCOE Technology and Recreation) Camp at the Sly Park Conservation and Environmental Education Center. STAR campers enjoyed numerous outdoor learning activities alongside students from Mary Tsukamoto Elementary School (Elk Grove Unified School District).
Over the April 1–3 weekend, STAR campers and Mary Tsukamoto Elementary students became acquainted with wildlife in Sly Park's animal room, participated in arts/crafts and adaptive games, entertained each other around a campfire with skits and songs, and explored the accessible nature trails.
STAR Camp is a joint effort by staff from SCOE’s Special Education Department, Sly Park, Seeds of Partnership, and Mary Tsukamoto Elementary School. The camp is an opportunity for students from SCOE's Severely Handicapped Program who access the MOVE (Mobility Opportunities Via Education) curriculum to participate in the activities offered through Sly Park together with similarly aged peers. Students from Mary Tsukamoto Elementary make friends with the STAR campers and learn that all children can enjoy nature and the camp experience.
In addition to staff from Sly Park, teachers, nurses, therapists, peer volunteers, and others who regularly work with students with disabilities make STAR Camp possible. Equipment typically utilized by the students—such as gait trainers, adapted bikes, other mobility equipment and assistive technology devices—are transported to Sly Park for use during the weekend. The high level of support and experienced staff enable students and their parents to have an educational weekend away from home enjoying the great outdoors and engaging with their peers.